Latest News and Updates

15 February 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Jonathan Dove will be writing a new set of songs for this year’s Friday Afternoons project, set to specially commissioned texts by Alasdair Middleton. These songs will be released in April, so keep an eye out on our website! Scores, backing tracks and resources will be available on the website free of charge, to support learning of the songs.

‘Not since Benjamin Britten has a British composer succeeded in writing operas which communicate with such clarity and coherence to their audience as those by Jonathan Dove’

The Gramophone

Biographies

Born in 1959, Jonathan Dove's early musical experience came from playing the piano, organ and viola. Later he studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge and, after graduation, worked as a freelance accompanist, repetiteur, animateur and arranger. His early professional experience gave him a deep understanding of singers and the complex mechanics of the opera house. Opera and the voice have been the central priorities in Dove’s output throughout his subsequent career.

Starting with his breakthrough opera Flight, commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1998, Dove has gone on to write over twenty operatic works. In 2010 A Song of Joys for chorus and orchestra opened the festivities at the Last Night of the Proms.  Throughout his career Dove has made a serious commitment to community development through innovative musical projects. His 2012 opera Life is a Dream, was performed by professionals and community choruses in a disused Birmingham warehouse, and a church opera involving community singers The Walk from the Garden was premiered at Salisbury Cathedral. 

2015 brought the World Premieres of The Day After, commissioned and produced by Holland Opera with a libretto by April de Angelis, a post-Apocalyptic setting of the myth of Phaeton written specifically to be performed outside; and The Monster in the Maze, a new opera for children, young people and adults, with a libretto by Alasdair Middleton, commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, and Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, and led by Sir Simon Rattle and Simon Halsey.

www.jonathandove.com

Alasdair Middleton was born in Yorkshire and trained at the Drama Centre, London. His work as a librettist includes: with Jonathan Dove – The Monster in the Maze(Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Aix-en-Provence Festival), Diana and Actaeon(Royal Ballet), The Walk From The Garden(Aegeas Salisbury International Arts Festival), Life Is A Dream(Birmingham Opera), Mansfield Park(Heritage Opera), Swanhunter(Opera North), The Enchanted Pig(The Young Vic, ROH2), The Adventures of Pinocchio(Opera North), and the cantata On Spital Fields(Spitalfields Festival, winner of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award); With Paul Englishby – Pleasure’s Progress(ROH2), Who Is This That Comes(Opera North) and The Crane Maiden(KAAT Yokohama). Other libretti include The World Was All Before Them, On London Fields, winner of an Royal Philharmonic Society Award, A Bird In Your Ear(New York City Opera), The North Wind Was A Woman(A Song Cycle for Dawn Upshaw), Everything Money Can Buy(Selfridges) The Feathered Friend. He has written four plays; Aeschylean Nasty, Shame On You Charlotte, Casta Diva and Einmal.

8 January 2016

We would like to offer anyone that has taken part in Friday Afternoons this year a certificate of achievement. These are available to download below. Congratulations to everyone that has taken part!

Download Certifcate .pdf

 

23 November 2015

Friday 20 November was the Big Sing, the culmination of Friday Afternoons 2015 where a schools across the country (and further afield) sang the new songs by Nico Muhly in events both large and small. We helped a handful of these schools to stream their events live so even more could watch and take part.

Aldeburgh Music at Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Here at Snape we had 670 Suffolk school children come and join us in a Big Sing led by Pete Letanka and Paul Whittaker.

The following Suffolk schools took part at the event on site:

  • Alde Valley Academy , Leiston
  • Aldeburgh Primary School
  • The Ashley School, Lowestoft
  • Bacton Primary  School
  • Britannia Primary School, Ipswich
  • East Bergholt Primary School
  • Great Barton Primary School
  • Halifax Primary School, Ipswich
  • Handford Hall Primary School, Ipswich
  • Howard Primary School, Ipswich
  • Nayland Primary School
  • Ringsfield and Brampton Federation
  • Sir John Leman High School, Beccles
  • St Gregory Primary School, Sudbury
  • St Helen’s Primary School, Ipswich
  • St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Bury St Edmunds
  • St Matthew’s Primary School, Ipswich
  • Whitehouse Primary School, Ipswich
  • Wilby Primary School

It was great to see so many children, and teachers having a good time and singing together!

We were also joined by Nico Muhly and Michael Morpurgo. Both took to the stage and talked to the schools about the importance of music in both of their lives.

Michael also presented Cassie White, the winner of the Britten Young Songwriter Competition 2015 with a signed professionally typeset score, and introduced four professional singers who then performed her winning entry to the hall.

Watch the whole performance again below...

Elsewhere in the UK...

Saffron Hall hosted a huge event with Dominic Peckham:

We also streamed groups from around the country. To see their videos, please click here.

These groups were:

  • Cornwall Music Hub
  • St Mary's, Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • Derbyshire Music Hub
  • London Youth Choir (Hackney Outreach Project)

Other Activity

We also had activity going on further afield, with groups taking place in Croatia and Singapore. You can see other activity that happened on our interactive map. Please let us know if you had your own event, we'd love to hear from you.

Future Events...

We have groups carrying on with Friday Afternoons 2015 into early next year, so keep your eyes peeled for more information about these. We are also releasing new songs for 2016... we don't stop!

12 November 2015

We'd like to announce Cassie White as the winner of this year's Britten's Young Songwriter Competition. Congratulations to Cassie!

Tammas Slater was Highly Commended for his entry. Find out more about both of them below. We were overwhelmed with entries this year, and send out a big thank you to all that took part. We will soon up recordings of both Cassie and Tammas' pieces - so keep your eyes peeled.

Cassie White

Cassie began learning guitar and piano when she was twelve, and started composing music soon after. Although she loves all genres of music, her real love is Musical Theatre, which she came to realise when she was involved in a school production of Les Misérables. From there, she began taking singing lessons, joined the school choir, and became interested in choral music. With the school choir, she has toured Austria and Germany, and will hopefully be touring Prague next year.

Cassie is currently preparing for my Grade 8 Musical Theatre and Piano exams. As well as this and studying for her A Levels, she is also writing a musical which she hopes to have performed one day. Next year Cassie is hoping to study Music at university and develop my compositions there. Outside of music, Cassie enjoys reading, writing, and photography.

Tammas Slater

Tammas Slater studies the piano, organ and composition at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. He passed his DipABRSM diploma on piano at the age of 13 and is currently Organ Scholar at St Margaret’s Church Ilkley. His notable successes this year have been as a winner of the BBC Inspire Composers’ Competition and Regional Winner of the EPTA UK competition.

He has composed for the BBC Singers and the Aurora Orchestra have performed his work at the BBC Proms. He regularly performs and conducts modern and contemporary music, particularly that of fellow students at Chetham’s.  

 

 

 

 

Pages